Ups and downs with offline blog editors

Updated on April 9, 2006

Upward movement with new beta versions of a couple of offline blog editors I’m trying out:

If I had to make a choice I would use ecto for Windows. That’s because it’s a tool I’ve been using since 2004, I know it pretty well, I’m more or less comfortable with it (I have a love/hate relationship with it) and is the one I fall back to after trying everything else.

Which brings me to the opposite of good work with blog editors. That’s Rocketpost. Whatever you do, do not waste money on buying Rocketpost. The application and the developer’s non-existent support is so appalling that you will experience grief if you do.

But let’s conclude on a positive note. If you need a reliable tool for managing your blog posts, you do have some good choices. ecto (Windows and Mac) and Qumana (Windows/Mac) as I mentioned. Plus BlogJet (Windows, and which I also have and use now and again). There’s also BlogDesk, a free post editor for Windows.

There are others, too – if you Google “offline blog editors,” you’ll find more. So plenty of choice.

Neville Hobson

Social Strategist, Communicator, Writer, and Podcaster with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Believer in an Internet for everyone. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Avid tea drinker.

  1. Tris

    Thanks Neville. I’m glad you like Qumana so much. Interesting thing about RocketPost is that they’ve been continuing their “Smarter than [x blog editor]” campaign and have been penalized by both Yahoo and Google for it.

    We’re very proud of the work Ianiv has done on this app. While we’ve been giving him directions on what the app should look like … he’s done all the coding … single handedly I might add.

    T

  2. Dave

    Much as I like Qumana, I’m a BlogJet man, offline.

    But to be honest, all my blog posts are done through Performancing for Firefox these days.

  3. Desirable Roasted Coffee

    Goodbye RocketPost, Hello again, Ecto!…

    Neville Hobson and I were on the same wavelength, today. I’ve been mentally composing this post about why I am dropping the utterly abominable Anconia RocketPost as a blog-post editor. But I see Neville Hobson has beaten me to the…

  4. neville

    Dave, I tried Performancing when it first came out in December. Beta then. Maybe time to take another look with version 1.1.

    As for BlogJet, there’s too much I don’t like about it than I do. With ecto, it’s the other way around!

  5. Tris

    Performancing certainly did a great job with their plugin, my hat is off to them. On the product dev side … if we put some connectors from browsers to Qumana … what would you like to see?

  6. Tris

    Something like that or maybe something more creative. All I know is that people like Performancing because it’s right there. Fast and easy. Well as fast and easy as Qumana is, I’d like to make it faster, easier, and better.

    So is a “Q this …” kind of extension where it’s at? Or putting the DropPad as a sidebar …

    Lots of ideas. Your thoughts?

  7. Dave

    Making Qumana available as a plug-in as well as a separate app. would be a great idea, Tris. My attitude towards blogging tools is to use the right one for the job. When you think about it, there are loads of different ways to blog:

    * Using your blog platform’s built in editor
    * Using an offline editor
    * Using a browser plug-in
    * Sending posts in by email
    * Automatic del.icio.us posts
    * Direct from Flickr
    * Direct from Digg

    And probably loads and loads of others!

    I am more inclined to use an offline editor like BlogJet, or Qumana, when writing lengthier posts which require a bit of planning and cogitation. If you have looked at my blog recently you’ll realise there aren’t many of these! Performancing is good for quick, on-the-fly posts – I see something and I want to blog about it while the thought is with me.

    If Qumama could work as a plug-in, it could have extra functionality to, say, “take this post offline”, and drag it out of the plug-in, load up Qumana proper and edit it that way – and offering the chance to save a draft on the local disk too. That might be really useful.

  8. neville

    Those are good suggestions, Dave. More than I could think of!

    I guess my thought, Tris, was along the lines of Qumana is a good stand-alone desktop app and I couldnt see many user benefits in trying to adds a ton of bells and whistles to it. Plus from your point of view – you have a good app and rather than try and make it more things than it is, why not focus on the core you have and differentiate it vs. other desktop apps rather than try and compete with every type of editor out there.

    Just my 0.02.

  9. Tris Hussey

    Good points Neville. We’re really looking at making sure that Qumana makes blogging easier, and if that means a little wdiget to go from page to post in a couple clicks … that’s cool. While we love the DropPad, somepeople don’t and that’s cool.

    We’re just going to listen to the bloggers and let them help us add features that are useful and not just a nice bell or whistle.

  10. Dave

    One of the best things about Qumana is the attention they – and Tris in particular – pay to bloggers and those that use their software. When I post my thoughts on a service, I often get a comment from the developers, but with Qumana, Tris kept returning and continuing the conversation. I might not be a regular Qumana user, but Tris certainly earned my respect.

    Neville, do you blog using WordPress’s built in editor much? I used to avoid it as much as possible, mostly because the thing is so damn ugly. Well, I installed the Tiger Admin plug-in yesterday, and it makes it a much more pleasant experience!

    Dave

  11. neville

    Tris, I’m one of those who don’t care for the DropPad. It doesn’t fit how I use a tool like Qumana. I tend not to drag-and-drop things, preferring to open up the editor and type. But I can see its value and its appeal so my not liking it is just a personal preference.

    Dave, I rarely blog directly in WordPress. I don’t mind its appearance; it’s just that I prefer to write and edit offline using ecto or whatever offline editor (but not Rocketpost!). An offline tool gives you complete control including having all your posts on your own PC in an easy-to-get-at format, as opposed to a database backup. My main reason, though, is one of convenience and speed – no dependance and frustration with a slow net connection (it does happen), for instance.

    It was the same with TypePad when I had my primary blog there. Hardly ever used the blog editing tool, nearly always an offline editor.

  12. Tris Hussey

    Dave, thank you very much. It’s only by listenting to bloggers and really engaging in a conversation, on and offline, that we get great ideas.

    Yep, Neville … that’s one of the primary ways people use it … and thank you for giving us a great use case.

  13. da.vebrig.gs » Blog Archive » Images and WordPress, Qumana

    […] As you can see from the tag at the bottom of this post, I am giving Qumana another try, for the odd longer post now and again. My interest has been piqued again after the various posts from people like Neville Hobson, Lee Hopkins and Allan Jenkins As Tris from Qumana knows, I usually find things to moan about. There are a few of things it is still missing in Beta 3: […]

  14. Blog editors: An opportunity awaits at NevilleHobson.com

    […] As Lee writes elsewhere in his blog, and as I’ve said before, there is plenty of choice in tools for managing your blog and writing posts offline, whatever type of computer you have or operating system you run. Yet, as Lee’s posts indicate, few of the tools currently out there are robust or reliable enough to take their place alongside other applications on your computer that you view as essential. […]

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